Film Photography In the Digital Age

Portland Japanese Garden

Posted on April 3, 2013

The Portland Japanese Garden is a magnificent place thats not more than a few minutes from downtown. This garden is massive (5.5 acres) so give yourself a few hours to really take the place in and bring a good pair of walking shoes. I went up there with a 50mm lens and a 28mm lens and I was surprised how much I ended up using the wider lens. I almost never take my 50mm lens off my camera but I had to use the 28mm to capture the scale and size of the place. I don’t own a 35mm lens but when i was there I really wish I would have had one because the distortion of the 28mm puts me off. The new sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM is now on my wish list! Photographers can purchase a special membership that gives them extra privileges including the ability to submit work for the calendar they publish every year. Don’t miss this place or the neighboring rose garden if you visit the city. All images shot on Fuji 35mm film.

Portland Japanese Garden Portland Japanese Garden Portland Oregon Portland Japanese Garden Portland Japanese Garden Portland Japanese Garden Portland Japanese Garden Portland Japanese Garden Portland Japanese Garden Portland Japanese Garden Portland Japanese Garden Portland Japanese Garden

Keep Portland Weird

Posted on March 6, 2013

Last September, I traveled to Portland and caught an amazing week of warm weather, in a city where it’s always raining. Portland is a beautiful city with fantastic history, but it’s the people that make it remarkable. I’ve never been in a town with so many bars and thirsty, interesting people to go along with them. This big little town is overflowing with great people with big ideas and effort to match. I live in LA and almost everyone, no matter what they do, is trying to be someone important with an ego the size of a house. Over beers, eating a meal, walking down the street, taking a bus, I met good people that offered up some sincere conversation, an interesting story, or a simple “good afternoon”. People really seem to care and they do a great job of taking care of one another. I know this because I was visiting a friend down on his luck, broke, and unemployed but there was always food to eat thanks to one of the many organizations there that help people in need. People in Portland seem eager to do honest, hard work to help their neighbor. Sure the homeless kids harassed me for money so they could get out of town before the winter set in but over all it was fantastic visiting and if the weather wasn’t so crap I could easily live there. Everywhere I went I saw the “Keep Portland Weird” slogan, but Portland is anything but weird and if more cities in our country were like Portland, our country would be better for it. I now understand why so many of my friends moved there and why so many are planning to move there. Portland is totally inspiring!

Portland Japanese Garden

Portland Oregon

Portland Oregon

Portland Oregon

Portland Japanese Garden

Portland Oregon

Portland Oregon

Portland Oregon

Portland Oregon

Spring is almost here!

Portland Oregon

Portland Oregon

Portland Oregon

Portland Oregon

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Portland Oregon

Portland Oregon

Portland Oregon

Portland Oregon

Portland Oregon

Portland Oregon

Portland Oregon

Rodney Smith Interview

Posted on December 8, 2012

Rodney Smith
Rodney Smith
Rodney Smith
Rodney Smith

I don’t normally share anything but my photography here but I’ve just listened to this interview with photographer Rodney Smith and it was incredibly inspiring so I had to share it with you. I think it’s definitely worth an hour of your time to gain some insight into the mind and heart of one of today’s most influential image-makers. His words will definitely give you a lift and hopefully move you to think about the craft of photography in new and deeper ways. For someone like myself who’s wants to try and make images that are aesthetically pleasing, technically well done and also communicate emotion Rodney Smiths words are radical affirmation of the type of photographer I hope to someday be. Because of work and the grind of daily life I don’t get to shoot as much as I’d like to. This fact of life frustrates me because I’m still searching to find my voice and refine my vision and when I can’t work toward that goal inspiration is hard to come by. This is the reason this interview is so timely and needed at this point of my photographic life. I’ve come away from this interview with a renewed commitment for my photography and with more perspective on the sort hard work its going to take in order get to where I want to be with my pictures. I hope you find Rodney Smith’s words and images as uplifting as I did.

California Modernist

Posted on October 5, 2012

It’s an endless summer here in the Southern California. The weather and the light are amazing on most days and not wanting to waste a single golden afternoon I took one of my one best friend’s out for a few quick snaps. “It’s color film so take advantage of it” I told him and he quickly responded “I know just what to do”. Well on the day the man came dressed for a coronation. Like the song says, “All my friends are as sharp as razors”. Indeed they are….

California Modernist

California Modernist

California Modernist

California Modernist

Processing and scanning by the Indie Film Lab.

Laguna Beach, California

Posted on August 8, 2012

It’s hard to mention Laguna Beach without people thinking of the reality show starring teenaged girls and their plastic surgery disasters, teenaged boys in love with themselves, and both with broken families at home behind secure high gates. Television brought the name of the town into the consciousness of the country with that terrible teenage soap opera that combined generous servings of affluence and stupidity and captured the hearts of the Americas youth. To be fair, spending money on leisure near the water has always been a tradition of the wealthy but Laguna Beach is different. There is something special about this place and it’s hard for me to put my finger on exactly what it is. The town has very distinct energy.

Laguna Beach, CA Laguna Beach, CA

Laguna is surrounded on all sides by the worst of that Orange County has to offer and though it’s considered one of the wealthiest cities in America, it seems to be more of a playground for artistic and independent minded people. This dates back over 100 years. It’s easy to see from my pictures that Laguna is home to beautiful and iconic California shores and its seaside village vibe remains unspoiled in subtle ways. Considering the wealth of the population its downtown area could have easily been ruined with High-end boutiques but its retained its village atmosphere with an eclectic mix of independent retailers and galleries. The city has a rich artistic history dating back to 1910 when painters from art schools all over the country came to this sleepy beach outpost to paint its unspoiled vistas in the impressionist style made famous by Monet. Today, one could spend all day visiting galleries and not get to see all of them. Once a year the city puts on an art festival, which celebrated its 80th year in production this past July, known as the Pageant of the Masters.
Laguna Beach, CA

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Laguna Beach, CA

Laguna Beach, CA Laguna Beach, CA Laguna Beach, CA Laguna Beach, CA 3176000099-R1-025-11

In the 1930s, Laguna Beach became a destination for Hollywood stars and many, including Charlie Chaplin, had homes there where they could escape the summer heat of Los Angeles and not be bothered. Misfits have also called this place home and in the late 1960’s, Timothy Leary and his Brotherhood of Eternal Love worked in the canyons perfecting their Orange Sunshine, which was the first mass-produced form of LSD. It was then sold up and down the west coast and contributed immensely to the counter culture movement for which California became famous. In those days it was a Haight Ashbury south and kids flocked there from all parts of California to join the brotherhood and participate in their social experiment to build a new society. The town’s independent attitude is also reflected in Laguna’s significant gay population dating back to the 1930’s. As the conservative wave of the Reagan years swept the country in the 1980s the city marched to the beat of its own drummer and elected an openly gay mayor along with a few city council members.

Laguna Beach, CA Laguna Beach, CA 3177000100-R1-071-34

Laguna Beach, CA

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Above all else though this place is special for the good times I have had visiting and all wonderful memories i have built over the last 25 years. I have a few friends there today but for the most part I’m a stranger in this town, yet it always feels like home when I’m there and I hope one day to actually live there. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

The Cambridge Building -1959

Posted on June 29, 2012

I often find myself driving through the city in the late afternoon chasing the sun light looking for interesting buildings to photograph. When inspiration strikes I make a mad dash for my camera because I usually don’t have much time before the sun sets and the daylight is complete gone. Driving off into the evening I wonder about the history of these places and most of the time my questions go unanswered since research is not something I do very well. With the help of Long Beach Architecture: The Unexpected Metropolis the task of getting my questions answered has gotten a whole lot easier. This wonderful book by Cara Murillo and Jennifer M. Volland looks back over the last 112 years of Long Beach architecture and outlines 100 of the cities most significant projects. It was with the help of this book that I located Edward Killingsworth’s Cambridge office building just of few blocks from his personal office. According to the book it was celebrated as “top-designed new commercial structure in the world” and it’s lost none of its luster over the last 53 years. I’m not sure if this is how the building originally looked in 1959 but in its present state it’s magnificent. I started this blog to try to inspire myself and jump start my imagination with the things around me and very time I discover gems like this my little effort here feels like a small victory. I hope to have more frequent updates here once I sort out a new lab to handle my processing and scanning but, until then, I will continue to chase the sun searching for inspiration and I hope that you get a kick out of what I see.

Cambridge Office Building 1959 Cambridge Office Building 1959 Cambridge Office Building 1959 Cambridge Office Building 1959 Cambridge Office Building 1959 52850034
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